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“Great climb”

Ranked #137 of 466 things to do in South Dakota
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Cherokee, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great climb”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

First I should say that this is sacred ground to Native Americans so be respectful of the area. I have climbed twice to the top and back. Once long ago before the fire. Many more trees then than now. This climb can be rugged as parts of the trail are rock only and some places have a fairly steep drop off. I would suggest you have plenty of liquids with you and be prepared for problems. If you are not in fairly good physical shape you may want to reconsider this climb or only climb part way up. The view from the top is quite spectacular as you can see for a long ways in most directions. We climbed Harney peak and several other areas but this was our favorite. Take your time and enjoy the Hike. I would highly recommend this one. If you don't like hiking/climbing though, this may be a place you may want to skip.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank wundirboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Mountain climbing”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

The kids wanted to go and visit this mountain. They had fun running around up and down the mountain. Also we got to see some buffalo grazing while we were there so it was a fun filled day for all. It was cold but we had alot of fun.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank DonnaKronmiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“October trip”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Made trip to Mato Paha (Bear Butte) first week of October last year. Behind me in the profile picture. I was impressed that the prayer ties are not disturbed. This in important to those of us of American Indian spirituality.

This place appeared to be very well taken care of and well respected. I would suggest an earlier trip in the fall or later in the spring. The weather can change quite quiclky in the late fall and very early spring. Summer is generally very hot. When I made the trip it was about 40 degs. with a 40 mph wind including flakes of snow. The day before it was in the mid 70's and calm.

Avoid this area during Sturgis bike week unless that is the reason you are going.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Frank N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Rugged hike to the top, great views”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Bear Butte, located in a State Park just northeast of Sturgis, is simply a really neat place. Great history - from Native Americans to Gen. George A. Custer. Geologically interesting, and yes, viewed from the right angle you can see the sleeping bear of legend. Definitely take the hike to the top IF you're in shape, have the time, and want to see spectacular views. It's a 1,000 feet vertical climb. The trail is not particularly steep, but there is loose shingle in places. Walking sticks are recommended, especially during the decent. The state park pass is good in all South Dakota state parks, so combine Bear Butte with Custer State Park, which is about 80 minutes away. Bottom line: well worth a half-day visit.

Visited October 2012
7 Thank Food_Detective101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Golden, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
275 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Great hike, good history, interesting geology. Not a butte.”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

For folks that are used to hiking on and off trail, this is a nice hike, but I wouldn't call it strenuous or difficult. If you hustle, you can round trip it (from bottom to top and back down) in just over an hour. Great views abound as this peak is very prominent. I recommend doing the hike when it is cooler in the morning or late evening or on a cooler day.

Costs $4/person or $6/car to enter the park.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank JeremyHakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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